The Complex Systems course was organized for the first time this spring as a part of the Computational Social Sciences program in the University of Helsinki. There were 20 students and four guest lecturers. The course offered an intensive introduction to the study of complex phenomena in social systems for graduate and doctoral students and professionals alike.
The course consisted of quest lectures, workshops and a poster session. The topics of the quest lectures varied from philosophical underpinnings of simulation methods to conceptual and empirical understanding and examples of the study of complex social systems.
The focus was on concepts relevant to the social sciences, such as emergence, self-organization, feedback, resilience, patterns of interaction, (social) mechanisms, autocatalysis, complex networks, collective behavior, simulation methods, risks, big data, among others.
During the course students carried out group projects related to themes covered in the program. They conducted group projects, which outcomes were presented in a collective poster session:
- Uncertainty and the emergence of racisms in the migrant crisis
- Collective behavior
- Autocatalysis in mass migrations
- Understanding social complexity
We hope that the course was as rewarding to the students and guest lecturers as it was for us! We hope that the students could adopt new relevant tools, ideas, and insights to their research and work.